Written by Puño Estupendo
British act The Heavy have some obvious good taste in music. Soul bits and funk grooves deftly come come together on their disc Great Vengeance And Furious Fire and singer Swaby channels his best Curtis Mayfield throughout. Hipster production values, a DJ kind of mix to it all, they kind of throw an attitude right up front and center. Therein lies its problem: it's too forced, I don't buy it. If there is such a thing as retro-retro, then The Heavy have it cinched up. It's as if they're hearkening back to the distant days of the long-lost early '90s and imitating the retro funk that was happening then as opposed to doing something actually new or refreshing. All the kinks of this type of music have already been worked out so there's nothing really ballsy about what they've done here. You wouldn't know it by listening to the band though. They come off fairly "We're the shit" and it's pretty obvious they think they're much slicker than they actually are.
"That Kind Of Man" is the greatest song from a sequel soundtrack that doesn't exist to Pulp Fiction that I've ever heard. The horns and laid back, catchy but kind of scratchy beat, is not a bad thing at all. It just seems kind of dated, dated to a time that isn't really old enough to legitimately dip back into yet. Swaby's voice really is nice though and gives the band a little bit of soul cred but strictly because of his Mayfield similarities. "Our Special Place" is a nice track as well, but The Gorillaz kind of have the sound cinched up for awhile.
Y'see what I'm getting at here?
This is a good album, and I'd lay bets that The Heavy sound great with this live, but I just found myself saying "this sounds like this, and that sounds like that". Nothing bad on this album but no amount of slick production and snotty attitude can make up for the lack of originality here.